Telegraph - France will be on extra high alert on Monday as union members and protesters march against Marine Le Pen while her Front National party holds its annual gathering to honour Joan of Arc.
As the FN pays tribute to the nationalist icon, union leaders and left-wingers have called for a massive turnout for traditional May Day marches through Paris as a show of strength against the far-Right presidential contender.
More than 9,000 armed police and soldiers will try to keep the two sides apart. Up to 250 May Day events are planned across the country amid fears of an attack similar to the Champs-Elysées killing of a policeman earlier this month, days before the first round of the presidential election.
France remains under a state of emergency introduced after the November 2015 Paris attacks. Political tensions are rising in the run up to the final round of the election on Sunday, in which Emmanuel Macron, a centrist, is expected to beat Ms Le Pen.
Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the FN, will lay a wreath at a statue of Joan of Arc in Paris and supporters will march to another location where he will deliver a speech.
Ms Le Pen who had him expelled from the party in 2015 over an anti-Semitic outburst, will hold a rally later in the northern suburb of Villepinte.
It is to be opened by Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, a eurosceptic former rival whom she has pledged to name prime minister, effectively making him her running-mate for the second round.
The FN rebuffed accusations by mainstream conservatives and left-wingers that it bought the support of Mr Dupont-Aignan, who was eliminated in the first round.
His expenses will not be refunded by the state because he took less than the threshold of five per cent of votes.
But Ms Le Pen’s niece, the Front National MP, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, told BFM TV: "There is no financial agreement between the party of Nicolas Dupont-Aignan and ourselves.” Marine Le Pen also denied "contradictions” in her policy on ditching the euro after being accused of a U-turn in her long-held but unpopular stance that France must abandon the single currency.
She said she had softened her position on the timetable for abandoning the single currency, but added: "The euro is dead.” She said dropping it could take 18 months rather than six as she had earlier indicated, as other measures might take priority.
But she also reiterated her view that while the national currency, the franc, would be restored for daily transactions and business in France, big companies could continue to use the single currency for international trade.
In an effort to overcome the taint of alleged anti-Semitism in the FN following the resignation of its interim president over accusations of Holocaust denial, Ms Le Pen laid a wreath at a memorial to Jewish victims during an unannounced visit to Marseille.
It came hours before a scheduled visit by Mr Macron to the Holocaust memorial in Paris.
Polls suggest he will beat Ms Le Pen by a margin of about 20 per cent, but a survey for the weekly Journal du Dimanche newspaper indicated that she is more trusted on security, terrorism and voters’ daily concerns.